If you ask anyone who worked for me when I was a pharma sales manager (over 20 years ago) what PPSR refers to, odds are they’ll still remember and be able to rattle off: Profile, Plan, Sell, Remind. That was our mantra for selling in my district. And it worked—we led the company as the top selling district for most of the time that I was a manager. And I bet it will help you drive success in your territory.
PPSR represents a logical approach to selling. It begins with a macro view—profiling. Analyze who you are meeting with and calling on. It all boils down to who you should give your time to. No matter how skilled you are at selling, if the person you are talking to has no use for your product, you are wasting your time. Think about that. You could be the best salesperson in your district but if you spend time talking to the wrong potential customers who won’t or can’t buy your product, you’ll wind up getting fired. From an analytical viewpoint you want to search for those businesses where there is the real opportunity to grow your sales and spend time talking to those folks. Therefore profiling makes sense.
Plan—this next step is obvious. What do you what to do when you get to talk to your customer? The driver of this analysis is probably based on what your industry standard is, so keep that topmost in mind. When planning your approach, it is helpful to apply the philosophy of thinking like the customer. If you put yourself in your customers’ shoes, what would they want to talk about? What issues are they dealing with that your product can help them tackle? Analyze not only what to say but the best way to say it—using words that create a safe environment and that resonate with your customer.
Then sell. Go execute the plan in the right way. Your objective is to have an honest conversation about how your customer feels about your product, including ways to think about it slightly differently. You want what you say to be interesting so you gain their attention. Then you want to have a meaningful conversation where you challenge them to think about your product and/or the issue they are wrestling with in a slightly different way. For only by engaging their thought processes can any behavior change result.
R is to remind. Too often this important part of selling is forgotten. On those calls where you had incredible interactions you need to remind your customers about what they said and what they agreed to. If you don’t, the odds are they will just forget. There are an unbelievable number of priorities competing for their attention. You need to provide those reminders so your sales conversation and subsequent commitment do not fade away but remain top of mind.
PPSR is a simple philosophy but one that has proven successful for many who have tried it. Many of my reps attributed following these major components as the reason for their sales success. Perhaps you will find that using this simple acronym can make a difference in your sales conversations and results.